County Clerk Certifies Recall Petitions
1st Time in Colorado History
All County Commissioners on Recall Ballot?
KOAA 5 interviews Ann Barthrop and Ann Willson of the
Custer County Recall Committee Photo by G. Gramlich
by George Gramlich
In a possible historic first for Colorado, on August 24th, 2017, Custer County Clerk sent a letter to the Custer County Recall Committee stating that sufficient recall signatures have been certified thereby placing the entire Custer County Board of County Commissioners up for recall in the upcoming November 7th general election. (See page 23 for the letter.)
Research by Sentinel staff indicates that this is apparently a first for Colorado in that an entire county commissioner board has been successfully been placed on a ballot for recall.
County Clerk Kelley Camper also provided the recall petition statistics in her letter. Considering there are only about 3,700 registered voters in Custer County, the number of signatures gathered in just four weeks is impressive.
For Commissioner Bob Kattnig, there were 79 petitions turned in with a total of 833 signatures. 470 were required to put Kattnig up for recall. Out of the 833 signatures submitted, only 70 were disqualified leaving an impressive 763 valid ones.
A similar story for Commissioner Jay Printz with 814 signatures submitted on 78 petitions. 582 signatures were required to place Printz on the ballot for recall. Out of that, only 69 signatures were rejected leaving an emphatic 745 accepted.
A somewhat different story occurred in Commissioner Donna Hood’s recall effort. Due to the voting history in her district, a high number of signatures were required to recall her. That number was 735. The Recall Committee submitted 79 petitions for Hood with a total of 849 signatures. 71 of those submitted signatures were rejected leaving 778 valid ones, ensuring that Hood would be up for recall albeit with a tighter margin than Printz or Kattnig.
So, what’s next? After the recall was certified (August 24th), there is a 15-day dispute period where petitions can be challenged. After that, Colorado law has a five-day “Resignation Period”, where if one or more of the three Republican Commissioners resign, the Custer County Republican Central Committee (CCRCC) gets to appoint a successor(s) to fill out the entire term of the resigned Commissioners. The CCRCC has ten days to fill any vacancies.
On the November 7th General Election Ballot, there will be a recall question for each commissioner. There will also be a recal petition statement and a commissioner statement from each commissioner The question will look something like, “Shall John Smith be recalled from the office of Custer County Commissioner?” There will be a “Yes” box or a “No” box to check. If there are more “Yes’s” than “No’s”, that commissioner is recalled. If there are more “No’s” then the commissioner will finish out his or her term.
Underneath the recall question will be list of one or more potential successor candidates that have successfully petitioned to be placed on the ballot for that district. Whether you vote “Yes” or “No”, you can vote for a successor candidate. The successor candidate with the most votes for that district will be the new Commissioner for that district.
Note that there will be a recall “Yes” or “No” for each commissioner and a separate list of successor candidates for each commissioner.
As we go to press, we know of seven citizens seeking to be placed on the ballot. Three of them, Bill Canda (District 1 against Commissioner Kattnig, Sandra Attebery (District 2 against Commissioner Printz) , and Kit Shy (District 3 against Commissioner Hood) are running as a “Slate” or team. Also announcing they will run are Dan Fischer (District 1), Richard Posadas (District 2) , Tom Flowers (District 3) and John Johnston (District 3). All Republicans need 300-plus valid petition signatures to be placed on the ballot.